The Friends
The Friends of the National Arboretum Canberra are a non profit community organisation, incorporated in 2008 under the ACT Associations Incorporations Act 1991.

Members of the Friends of the National Arboretum Canberra are dedicated to supporting the National Arboretum Canberra as it evolves into a unique attraction of international renown.

We welcome new members and invite you to join us to become part of this wonderful project. Your membership fees contribute to projects and community engagement activities that the Friends undertake in conjunction with the Arboretum team.

The Friends are governed by a Council which meets monthly and all members are eligible for election to the Council. General Meetings, usually with a speaker, and social get togethers, also occur throughout the year. If you become a Friend you will learn, through regular Updates and a quarterly Newsletter, about the Arboretum, the forest species and the biodiversity they nurture. You can also volunteer to participate in a range of activities that help us support the Arboretum.
We aim to work with the community to help develop this wonderful public asset for now and for future generations.
The Arboretum
Prior to 2003, most of the 250 hectare Arboretum site was covered by pine plantations. However, after the devastating bushfires of 2001, and 2003, the ACT Government resolved to replant the site to create a 'national arboretum’.

A design competition was launched in 2004 and the winning design, ‘100 Forests 100 Gardens’, described an arboretum to display forests of rare, threatened and/or iconic species from around the world, including from Australia.
This design incorporated the existing cork oak and Himalayan cedar forests, planted early last century, and which largely survived the fires. As well as providing a public amenity, experimental plantings, research and education were all important aspects of this project.
Planting of the forests began in 2006 and is mostly complete with just a few forests still to be planted. Already we can see the area evolving into a beautiful patchwork of forests, many displaying seasonal interest such as, new spring growth, flowers, fruit, autumn colour and shedding bark. Many species attract birds and insects, so there is always something new to discover.
In addition to the forests there are a number of feature gardens, the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia, the Southern Tablelands Ecosystem Park and the Pod Playground.
The Arboretum has been open to the public since February 2013 and is located at the western end of Lake Burley Griffin, about 6 km from the centre of Canberra Australia's national capital. The site is undulating with numerous trails which provide many vantage points where visitors can enjoy fantastic views across the lake and the city as well as the nearby Brindabella Mountains.